Tandem Cycling - Weight distribution tandem touring
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02-28-07, 10:17 PM
Guys I took my 10yr old daughter for a 13-mile ride this PM and that got me thinking about my goals for the summer, getting her up in mileage an doing some bike camping.
I know how I like to distribute weight on my single bike but was wondering what you all thought about weight on the tandem. I was thinking about Jandd expedition racks front & rear. Your input is appreciated.
This is what works for us when we are traveling with all our gear for camping and cooking.
Ortleib panniers, rack bag and h/bar bag with Tubus racks.
Rear panniers have clothing and sleeping bags. Rack bag has tent and Thermarests. Front panniers have food, cooking gear and utensils.
03-01-07, 07:17 AM
Heavy in front like usual, kinda what I thought. I appreciate the input, I realized last night I needed to order racks for the tandem as I was looking for a H-bar bag for my little stoker to keep her from stuffing things in my jersey pockets (don't like stuff there).
Thanks and nice looking rig there.
03-01-07, 06:09 PM
There are also triangular shaped bags to fit into the rear triangle of the tandem.
Small bento style bags fit on the toptube. Believe Mel at TandemsEast sells them on his website.
03-01-07, 06:49 PM
Try putting the bike, fully loaded, you, child, bags and all, on a pair of bathroom scales. Actually determine the weight distribution. Or one scale under each wheel in turn. I'm guessing the rear wheel will be a fair bit heavier. Ride and see how it handles. Then put as much heavy stuff in the front bags, weigh, then ride again. It will work out. Congrats on having her on the bike.
03-01-07, 09:47 PM
Definitely load up the bags and do some test riding as handling with a load, especially on the front, will be quite different than riding empty.
We practiced by loading encyclopedias in our panniers and doing some hefty practice climbs that way.
Another option is to use a one- or two-wheeled trailer.
Good luck to you and your young stoker. It'll be fun!
The loaded weight of the panniers over the rear wheel is heavier.
However I weight 95kg(210lbs for the unwashed) and Marian only weighs only 50kgs. The bike feels nicely balanced when cornering downhill at speed. We rode through the Haute Provence and the Maritime Alps where there is the odd hill or two. Even with a full load we were keeping up to a couple on road bike descending through the Gorges Du Verdon. Loads of fun :o)
Remember if you have bigger panniers or tow a trailer, you will fill the extra space
03-02-07, 12:05 PM
I would suggest you do a few trial runs on different types of surfaces.
For the last two summers, I toured with my two daughters (presently 10.5 and 7) on a Co-Motion tandem + Piccolo trailercycle. For the short tour in 2005, I used only panniers, and the bike rode best with as much weight as possible on the rear wheel. Since the 2006 tour was much longer, I used 2 panniers and a trailer.
Just for comparison, when I ride on the single bike, I put about 50-60 % of the weight in front.
03-05-07, 03:51 AM
We have Jaand Mountain Expedition panniers circa 1997 on Mose racks. Bullet proof. Haven't done big tours with camping gear YET, so can't say how we will distribute the weight.
03-08-07, 09:47 PM
Thanks for all the info. I learned quite a bit years ago doing a few short tours but I know the handling will be quite different. That said I do of course outweigh her a good 85 pounds so we have a little extra capacity in the rear.
I was looking at the Jandd website and may pick up some of their gear, they have seconds, blems & returns available at deep discounts.
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